2 1/2 year old business - established website - once a week blogging - sharing across Linkedin and Twitter. No Google ads but some advertising on AVVO.com. Linkedin, Avvo and Yelp are top three referrers. Want to get more aggressive - what's the best way to spend a $1k month budget - agency recommendations welcomed.
Hi there. Have managed thousands of attorney online programs, I'll see if I can provide any suggestions. However, it usually depends on what type of practice you have. Commercial litigation might have a much different strategy than personal injury, for example.
Let us know and I'll come back with some thoughts. Google ads may be a good place to look, though, if not already doing. Although $1k in Los Angeles market might be spent quickly.
I have 15 years of experiencing optimizing the performance of websites and assembling digital strategies for companies of varying size. I do not currently work with any legal websites, but I do a great deal of work with lead generation businesses which are similar from a web functionality perspective.
When working with clients I typically begin by examining the flow of site traffic after they arrive. For example you may find that visits from LinkedIn, Avvo, and Yelp convert at different rates. This sort of thing can help determine how you spend money to bring traffic to the site.
Examining the "acquisition layer" -- how people arrive on site and what they do immediately upon entry -- is often more effective if you look holistically at site performance and entry channels. Organic, Social, Paid, Rented channels will all typically perform slightly different and you'll want to identify the right mix and the right visitor workflow before blowing through the ad spend.
Your monthly budget is somewhat thin for competitive terms in competitive markets but may be sufficient to run something content-driven with an advertising recon component. Law firms often have significant restrictions on how they advertise so this may play a role as well.
Please call me with any follow up questions you may have. I can help get you started on an effective path.
May I suggest that you may be asking the wrong question. Your question will attract answers that WILL help you SPEND that $1000 on "widgets"... Tactics such as Facebook ads or pay-per-click campaigns that aren't grounded in a strategy you've put in place to help increase the probability of successfully building your business.
A strong strategy will direct the tactics and ensure you are doing everything you can to secure a good return on all of your financial investments (such as the $1000/mo you currently have available for marketing). It will direct who you are attracting (aka inbound marketing) and who you are directing your marketing towards (outbound marketing). It will help you determine a strong market position (aka USP) and develop a compelling message and offer. And it will help you build a business model that will direct your expenditures and investments to, as greatly as possible, ensure your financial viability and success.
In order to know how to best INVEST (not spend) your money it's important to first understand what you hope to accomplish with that investment. In other words - what is your goal?
And the amount - $1000 - is only relevant with respect to what the cost of acquisition of a client is and how that relates to the lifetime value of that customer and your required margins in order to ensure the financial success and viability of your company. That amount - $1000 - is only relevant as it directly relates to your Business Model.
For example - in one of my businesses I determined that I can invest up to $250 to acquire one client. That amount allows for a good margin and is consistent with my financial goals.
I'd suggest that until and unless you have a strong strategy in place you hold off on spending any money. Instead invest it in developing your strategy. On the other hand - if you DO have all of those components in place - be sure to communicate them to whomever you decide to work with and hold them accountable to YOUR metrics and goals.
For help with any of this give me (or one of the other excellent strategy-based coaches here on Clarity) a call.
I wish you the best of luck as you move forward!
Here are the things you need to consider:
- how is your current website performance (traffic, conversion, funnel, landing page etc)
- how is current campaigns performing? (CPA)
- evaluate the competitive space (determine what are available opprtunities that can be accomplished within your budget)
- plan, execute, and evaluate marketing campaigns
Your best bet is to understand what the space is like before committing to a particular channel. Do some testing and make sure you're tracking.
Yelp has been best ad spend, hands down, for a legal firm client of mine. Caveat: he had 5 stars across the board to begin with. There's a lot of bad press about Yelp ads, but I've found them to be extremely valuable. Especially when people are bidding through the roof on Google PPC.
I'm interested to see how the Avvo.com ads are working for you?
I know this is sarcastic but I'm curious whether the legal firm every quoted a client $1k of defense. Flat feeing your marketing budget makes absolutely no sense. Your marketing budget should be set as a percentage of the overall revenue generated by the program. Are you expecting $15k in business from this spend? $100k in business from this spend? Sorry - I'd walk away.
I'm going to answer you from a different perspective. The very best marketing for a professional type business must be based in a deep understanding of your target audience and the solutions you provide for their pain. That is the essence of marketing - getting your solutions in front of your perfect potential client's pain, at the moment they are searching. It has nothing to do with throwing money at PPC or social media marketing or SEO, though these might all become facets of your marketing plan.
Before you spend money on any of that, I suggest you be able to answer some key, pointed questions about what you do and who you do it for, in under 30 seconds. You must know your avatar intimately and write your blogs, posts, ads with them in mind. You must understand what language in your market motivates people to pick up the phone and call you, or click on a link for a consultation. Right now you are putting the cart before the horse, in my opinion.
I help entrepreneurs get really clear about money and marketing - and authenticity in presentation. Reach out if I can help you .
Deborah Tutnauer, MEd, MSW
There's plenty of long answers about plenty of different things that can be done.
You want a one word answer: www.ontraport.com
A solid entry level marketing automation platform will allow you to segment your database and regularly email people with relevant and interesting content you can pull straight from your blog.
If you're already doing the writing, it won't add much work to your marketing load and got $600 a month you've got a good starting point for being much more responsive to your database and being able to engage with them much more regularly.
Oh, and with the next $80 sign up for www.oktopost.com to get smart about your social media marketing.
Now you've got some great marketing going on and you've still got $320 to find yourself some awesome advice on clarity :)
Radio ads cheapest form of mass media. Charity events. Sponsor small events, usually rather cheap, better yet, participate, and make sure you are listed off as the sponsor.
Fliers is another way. In certain areas, you can be a "sponsor" for a stretch of interstate/autobahn by cleaning it up once a few months, and you get your organizations name on the sign.
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